These soft Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are flavoured with pure pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and topped with cream cheese icing. The warm pumpkin pie spices meld together with the brown sugar to create a delicious, sticky glaze that's swirled inside.
This first appeared on Sift & Simmer in November 2017. Updated October 2021.
It's that time of month where it's pumpkin everything!
Why this recipe works
These Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are incredibly soft and delicious.
This recipe uses real pumpkin puree.
The pumpkin in the dough keeps the rolls light and soft and gives them a beautiful orange colour.
You can easily double the recipe to make a full batch in a 9" by 13" baking pan.
Ingredients you'll need
For the dough:
- pumpkin puree: use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin filling, which already contains spices. You can use fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin; note that different varieties of pumpkin will vary in sweetness and flavour
- large egg
- warm milk: or non-dairy alternative
- active dry yeast
- all-purpose flour: you can also use bread flour if you have that
- granulated sugar: or any sweetener you like
- vegetable oil or softened butter: butter will add a little more flavour to the buns
- sea salt: I like using a fine sea salt
For the filling:
- brown sugar: dark or light brown sugar will work fine; you can even use coconut sugar
- unsalted butter: softened at room temperature
- cinnamon: ground
- pumpkin pie spice: is a blend of ground-up spices consisting of cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and all-spice
For the frosting:
- cream cheese: softened at room temperature
- powdered sugar: or icing sugar, adds sweetness and helps thicken up the frosting
- vanilla extract; use a good quality vanilla extract for the best flavour
How to make it
Combine the warm milk, sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Give it a mix and let the yeast activate.
In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine the flour, pumpkin puree, egg, and sea salt.
Pour in the activated yeast mixture and knead until the dough comes together.
The dough will be quite wet. Keep kneading.
Add the oil/butter after kneading for about 3-4 minutes, and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.
You may need to finish kneading the dough with your hands.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover.
Let it rest in a warm location, until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
When dough has doubled in size, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 10" by 8."
Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough.
Sprinkle cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice filling over the top.
Starting from the bottom edge, roll up the dough, finishing with the seam side down.
Use a sharp knife to cut into 6 equal portions and place into a lightly greased baking tray.
Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and leave until slightly puffy.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bake the pumpkin cinnamon rolls for 20-22 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190F.
Transfer the buns to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Frost the buns:
Add the cream cheese to a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment.
Whip the cream cheese until softened.
Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip until smooth.
Spread the cream cheese icing over the tops of the buns.
How to serve
Serve the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls at room temperature.
You can serve the buns warmed up, however note that the frosting will weep.
Alternatively, you can frost the buns just prior to serving.
How to store
Store the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.
If unfrosted, you can store the buns at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If frosted, store the buns in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The buns can also be frozen (unfrosted) for up to 2 months.
Other recipes you may like
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Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 80 ml warm milk
- 30 g granulated sugar
- 6 g active dry yeast
- 260 g all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 85 ml pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (recipe below)
- 15 ml vegetable oil or softened unsalted butter
Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix: (makes more than you need for the recipe)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground all-spice
- ¼ C light or dark brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter softened, room temperature
Cream Cheese Icing:
- ¼ C cream cheese softened, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ C powdered sugar sifted
- pumpkin pie spice optional
Make the dough:
- In a bowl, combine the warm milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast. Give it a stir and let the yeast activate, about 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, egg, pumpkin puree, remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the yeast to the flour mixture and turn on the mixer on low.
- The dough will be wet. Knead the dough together until it comes together. At about 3-4 minutes in, add in the vegetable oil/butter and continue kneading. (You may need to finish kneading by hand until smooth).
- Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Leave in a warm location for 60-90 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Pumpkin pie spice mix:
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and mix well.
- Store in an airtight container.
Make the filling:
- In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Give it a stir to incorporate.
Make the rolls:
- When the dough has doubled in size, transfer it to a work surface lightly dusted with flour. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 10" by 8" long.
- Spread softened butter over the entire surface of the dough.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar filling on top of the butter.
- Working from the bottom, roll it up into a long log, and divide into 6 even pieces.
- Lightly grease a 9" by 6" oven-safe baking pan.
- Place the pieces of dough cut side up (swirl facing the top) into the baking pan.
- Lightly cover with a cloth/plastic wrap until puffy and slightly larger in size, about 20-30 minutes.
- Towards the end of the proofing time, preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
- Bake at 350°F/177°C for approximately 20-22 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted registers 190°F.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the icing:
- In a stand mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese until softened. Then add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and about ½ C sifted powdered sugar. If the consistency is too thick, add a little milk to loosen. If it's too runny, add a little more powdered sugar.
- Spread the icing over the cooled buns.
- Serve with additional dusting of pumpkin pie spice if you wish. Best served the same day.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.